If you want to adopt a pet, good on you. Adopting a pet can add so much joy to your life while helping to save an animal. If you want to adopt a pet, you do want to be prepared to ensure that you are ready to welcome a pet into your home.
Following some simple suggestions can ensure that your home and your lifestyle is ready to add a fur baby. If you want to adopt a pet you will need to consider where you will adopt the pet from, and then prepare your life for your new pet.
Where Will You Adopt Your Pet?
Your first decision when you want to adopt a pet is to decide where you want to adopt a pet from. Different places are involved in animal rescue that is always looking for people that can provide good homes. Some examples are:
- The ASPCA. The ASPCA is a long-standing organization that focuses on animal rescue, rehabilitation, and placement in forever homes.
- Local animal rescue groups. There are a lot of non-profit animal rescue groups that offer adoption options.
- Local government agencies. Many cities have animal control agencies that shelter animals for limited amounts of time after they have been discovered to be strays.
If you want to adopt a pet of a specific breed, some organizations specialize in rescuing specific breeds. Deciding where you want to adopt a pet from requires a bit of research but the extra steps to ensure that you are adopting from an agency you feel comfortable with is well worth the time.
Narrowing Down Your Options
It can be heartbreaking when you want to adopt a pet to go through all the available pets that are up for adoption. There are so many dogs, cats, and other animals that need homes it can be very difficult to decide which one is right for your family.
Making it less challenging to filter through all the pets that are available starts with making a list of what you have to offer a pet. For example, do you have a yard? Can you spend a lot of time or money on pet grooming? What size pet are you looking for?
Making a list and including on that list what you need from your pet to live in harmony is a good way to whittle down the options. When it comes to pets, size really does matter, So does genetic predispositions and potential health concerns.
Some dogs need tons of exercise to remain happy. If you are an active person that can be a match made in heaven. Other dogs are little lap companions that need to be walked for short spurts twice a day, and then they are happy to lay around with you.
Deciding what type of personality you are hoping to find with your new pet is vital to building a strong bond and fully enjoying your pet. Consider the following attributes that you want to look for in a pet before you start your search:
- How much physical room in your life do you have for a pet? Do you live in an apartment? Do you have access to an outdoor area where your pet can get plenty of exercise?
- Do you need a pet that will be good with children and other animals? Some breeds of dog, for example, are well known for making great family pets, other dog breeds are better off without other pets or kids in the home. For safety’s sake, you must choose the right breed of pet to fit into your lifestyle.
- Long hair or short hair? Does dog or cat hair drive you crazy when it gets on the furniture? Then a short-haired furry friend is a better option for you.
Figuring out what the ideal pet for you will be can help you to set the parameters that you need to set when you want to adopt a pet.
Preparing Your Home For a New Pet
Getting your home ready for a new pet is vital to the success of your new pet assimilating into family life. You will have to make arrangements for your new pet to have their own space, get medical care, and have the supplies that they need to feel comfortable and welcome.
Everything that you need to take care of your pet is readily available from a custom dog house to educational type toys. Getting everything that you need in place before you bring your pet home will ensure that you get to spend more time focusing on making them a part of the family then rushing around to find supplies they need.
What will your pet need at a minimum? Every animal will need a ready source of clean water all the time. Whether you are adopting a cage-type animal or a horse, a vessel to deliver clean water is a must.
You will need a food bowl, and storage for their food, and figure out where your pets “eating spot” is going to be. A mat under a food bowl and water bowl for a cat or a dog will help to keep messes to a minimum.
Every pet will need:
- A space they can call their own.
- Toys to play with.
- Some sort of bedding.
It is vitally important to your new pet’s wellness that they have a place that they can retreat to when they have had enough of the human family members. You want to engage your pet. Toys are a great way to engage your pet and can also prove useful in pet training.
Your pet also needs a sleeping spot. It should be a spot that they can retrieve to that is relatively quiet, comfortable, and that is all their own. Getting rest is important for the emotional wellness of your pet. Making sure that they have a space that is conducive to rest will help them enjoy good mental health.
When you want to adopt a pet most rescues offer initial pet vaccines as part of the deal, however, pets need booster vaccines regularly throughout their lifetime so you will need to make arrangements with a local vet for pet health care.
When you are choosing a vet consider a fully operational animal hospital as an option. An animal hospital will have the capabilities to fully care for your pet including offering services that a general vet does not.
Caring for Your Pet
What type of care will you need to provide to ensure that your pet remains happy and healthy? This is a question that not enough people think about when they want to adopt a pet. Most people know that pets need love, attention, and to have their basic need for good nutrition, water, and health care met, but that is not all your pet needs.
Pets need training. They need to understand clear expectations, they need to be rewarded for good behaviors and they need to be redirected away from unwanted behavior. Yes, of course, they need health care, but did you know that you also need to provide pet dental care?
Animal dentistry is a specialty practice to care for animals’ teeth. You can help your pet avoid oral health problems by brushing their teeth regularly and providing them with a high nutrient diet that is well balanced.
Regular grooming is also one of the things that you have to take control of. Dogs, and cats, and other pets need to be groomed regularly. Grooming is a great way to bond with your pet. Some pets will need more grooming than others if they have thick full coats. Every day your pet should be brushed, and bath time should be at least once a month. Of course, you can take your pet to a professional groomer for the big stuff like haircuts, and specialty bathing, but you will still need to do the in-between stuff.
How You Can Make the Transition Smoother
When you want to adopt a pet you likely have a vision of how it will all go. Unfortunately, the vision may not match reality. There is a transition period when you adopt a pet. It is a transition for the pet and your family. There are a few things you can do to make that transition easier on everyone.
Set the rules early on. It can be hard to stay firm when you first bring your new pet home, but it is vitally important that you do. For example, if you have a “no couch” rule, enforce it from the start. Make sure every family member gets on board with the enforcement.
If you can spend a couple of uninterrupted days working with your new pet to help them understand your expectations early on, it can help to ease the transition period. You should put one person in charge of training those first few days to help to keep your pet from getting confused about who the pack leader is.
Remove things that you do not want a new puppy or kitten getting into. You can put them back a couple of weeks later when your pet has become more accustomed to their surroundings.
You also want to do the following to help your pet transition into your home:
- Give them some space to explore. It can be very exciting to have a new pet come into the household and the temptation to be on top of them can be very hard to fight, but after you do the introductions and play a little while, let them roam on their own. It is important that they get a lay of the land so to speak, and become familiar with the space.
- Start communicating with your pet right away. Give the pet a name and use it often so they can become familiar with it. Use simple commands early on and stick with them to help ease them into training.
- Try to keep extended family members and friends away for the first couple of days. This can be a very overwhelming time for a new pet, you do not want to further overwhelm them by introducing too many people to them at once.
All animals feed off of human energy, if you are calm cool and collected during the transition phase they will be as well. Pets will follow your lead. Things must stay calm around the household for the first few days to help your new pet feel at ease.
Introducing a New Pet to An Existing Pet
If you are a multi-pet household when you decide you want to adopt a pet, most of the advice is the same, except you will have to take a couple of extra steps to ensure things go smoothly. Introducing your new pet to your existing pet in the home is not a good idea. It is always better to let everyone meet on neutral ground. Your existing pet may feel a little territorial about their space in the home, and bringing in a new pet to the space can trigger aggressive behaviors even in the nicest of pets.
Ideally you will set up a meet and greet between your current pet and the potential adoptee on neutral ground where everyone can sniff around and get to know each other. As a matter of fact, two or three such dates may help to build a bond between the two pets and make bringing your new pet home a lot easier.
If time is of the essence when you want to adopt a pet, instead of just barging into the house with the new pet, consider having another adult bring your existing pet to a nearby park so they can play around for a little while before you go home.
Make sure you continue to give your existing pet the same level of attention that they got before to help squash any feelings of jealousy before they get started. With a little extra effort, everyone will be able to get along and live in harmony.
It is admirable that you want to adopt a pet, you are saving a life, and giving an animal a second chance. Following these simple suggestions will help that pet become a valued member of your family and bring you a lot of joy.